RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble
Here’s another question about tires from China:
“Tireman – In the post you linked further up the thread you commented on not expecting long life performance out of the lowest priced tires. There seems to be something in all of the reports for ‘China Bombs’ in that there are a lot of reported failures. Is the hype bigger than the problem? Should well-maintained OEM tires last longer than what is being reported? Is it your assessment that the seemingly high percentage of failures is due to the OEM tires being cheap, low-cost tires?
Sailun tires seem to have a good reputation, even though they are China tires. So it would seem that it’s really just an issue of quality of the build. A good tire is a good tire, regardless of where it’s made?”
In general, I would consider steel body tires, like many Sailun items, “commercial” grade, be they LT or ST type, and as such I would expect them to perform better that lighter duty tires (both ST and LT type). This would apply to other steel body tires too.
A problem with “reports” of failures is that almost no owners have the knowledge or training necessary to properly identify the real cause for failure. So while there may be a dozen reports of “blowouts,” there could be a dozen different root cause reasons. Some might even not be a tire-related cause, like valve or wheel failure or pothole or 10d nail through the sidewall.
Regarding quality: All tires sold in the U.S. are required to be certified by the manufacturer to be capable of passing Federal DOT Regulations. If tires do not pass a test (random selection by DOT) or if there are sufficient complaints to get the attention of NHTSA, they might initiate an investigation.
If it is found that tires do not pass the required testing then a recall might be ordered and recalls would include all tires made since the last tire that passed the test were made. This could be many thousands or even tens of thousands of tires. There are also per-tire fines. So this is something tire companies really do not want to have happen.
I have written a number of times on my blog about “China” tires and how I disagree with the concept which I liken to claiming that RVs made in Indiana are bad because most of the complaints or problem reports are about RVs built in Indiana.
Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net.